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Published in: Open Democracy Many human rights defenders around the world are in jail for standing up for the rights of others. Azimjon Askarov is a well-known human rights defender from southern Kyrgyzstan. He is also a writer and an artist. In…
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.
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Why Sex Work Should be Decriminalized

How did you find sex workers willing to talk about their work despite it being illegal in South Africa? It’s very difficult to gain sex workers’ trust without connections to people already actively supporting sex workers. For one, because their…
Sex workers wearing masks lead a march to mark International Sex Workers Rights Day in Johannesburg March 3, 2011
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How Former President Jammeh Trapped, Raped, and Sexually Exploited Women

When did you first hear that Jammeh had raped and sexually assaulted women? The first stories surfaced when Human Rights Watch Senior Counsel Reed Brody and I started collecting evidence for the “Campaign to Bring Yahya Jammeh and his Accomplices to…
Fatou “Toufah” Jallow, May 25, 2019.
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How did Bellingcat start? It was almost accidental. In 2011, I’d been working for a company that housed refugees. That company lost its government contract and had to close, so I ended up in an office by myself waiting for everything to wind…
poster bellingcat
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Understanding the Role of Encryption in Your Everyday Life

Why did you decide to create a game? We really wanted to build something that felt accessible, interesting, and reached out to new audiences who might not have realized how encryption was built into the gadgets, apps and websites they use.…
Locked phone
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Over the past two years, Poland’s government has tightened its control over the courts, the media, and domestic rights groups. Thousands of outraged citizens have staged protests nationwide against these moves, even successfully…
Protesters gather in front of the Parliament building during an opposition protest in Warsaw, Poland, July 16, 2017
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Detained and Questioned Trying to Interview Construction Workers in Volgograd

While investigating the exploitation of workers in Russia building stadiums for the 2018 World Cup, Human Rights Watch consultant Semyon Simonov was detained by Russian police and unidentified security forces. They held him for three…
Construction workers on the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia that will host 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup matches. October 3, 2016.
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Journalists in Somalia are increasingly coming under attack. For many years, the main threat to the media has come from Al-Shabaab, the Islamist armed group that controls large parts of the country. But, as a new report by Human Rights Watch has found,…
A picture of a hand writing on notepad.
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Although it is more than eight years since hundreds of women were brutally raped during post-election violence in Kenya, the harrowing events of 2007/8 continue to affect survivors to this day. Destitute, in ill health and often…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Women make up half the population, yet in times of war, in peace talks, and in rebuilding efforts, women are rarely at the table. The issues that impact them and their families – from living safely in camps for the internally displaced to holding rapists…
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In the Philippines, children dive underwater, swim down a wooden shaft barely wider than their shoulders, and mine for gold – all while breathing through a flimsy, narrow tube. We haven’t seen underwater mining – called compressor…
Peter